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Canada (161,874)
York University (12,845)
NATS 1775 (19)
Vera Pavri (19)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 NATS 1775

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Natural Science
NATS 1775
Vera Pavri

Lecture 2: Technology in Ancient Civilizations Early Civilizations • Urban Revolution was 6000 years ago. • At six different centres: Mesopotamia (after 3500BC), Egypt (after 3400BC), Indus River Valley (after 2500BC), Yellow River China (1800BC), Mesoamerica (500BC), South America (300BC). • Characteristics: High population, centralized political and economic authority, complex architecture, higher learning. • They developed because large populations needed intensified agricultural developments. • Simple agriculture replaced by field agriculture. Hydraulic Hypothesis • All early civilizations required large scale hydraulic engineering projects (because of too little or too much water flow). • Hydraulic Hypothesis: there is a link between the early rise of civilization and large scale hydraulic system. • Irrigation on such a large scale causes the emergence of political systems (for example Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, etc all developed in similar ways). • After wars, losers became slaves or peasants (under intense work). • Warmer climates enabled high crop production. • Mass labour needs to be controlled by a higher political authority. • CRITICSM: Argue that centralized political power did not just centre around irrigation. Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica had states before irrigation. Irrigation more of a consequence or product rather than a cause. Early Science and Technology in Ancient Civilizations Mesopotamia • Schools developed to teach writing skills • Sexigesimal (base 60) system (linked to today’s hours, minutes and circles). • Sophisticated astronomy and highly accurate calendars. • Conducted systematic research. • Built great monuments, like the Tower of Babel (270 ft). Egypt • Large scale architectural projects l
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